WR Donald Driver hauls in an 85-yard touchdown pass from Brett Favre
Brett Favre insists he doesn't save his best for the Chicago Bears. It just seems that way.
Favre passed for three first-half touchdowns Monday night to lead the Green Bay Packers to a 34-21 victory over the Bears, running his career record to 17-4 against Chicago.
"To be totally honest, I don't treat this game any different from any other,'' he said. "Maybe for our fans and for the media, it is a bigger game than it is when we play everyone else. But as a team you should be playing every game like it's the Super Bowl.''
Needing just 262 yards coming in to reach 40,000 career yards, Favre got there by halftime. He threw an 85-yard TD pass to Donald Driver in the first quarter - the second longest of his career - and the Packers (4-1) took a 24-14 halftime lead.
"I would never in a million years think we'd have a first quarter like we did today, but you never know in this league. This one ranks near the top,'' Favre said. "You have (287) 300 yards at halftime and three touchdowns, something is working.''
No argument from Packers coach Mike Sherman.
"I never say it's as good as he's been because he's been pretty dang good,'' Sherman said. "But that would be tough to top, the first half. ... He was pretty close to playing as well as you can there at one point.''
Green Bay took control in the third quarter when Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila intercepted Chicago's Jim Miller and lumbered 72 yards for a touchdown as the Bears (2-3) lost their third straight.
The rivalry that began in 1921 has turned one-sided in recent years, thanks to the brilliance of Favre.
Green Bay's victory Monday night was its 15th in the last 17 meetings with the Bears, this one coming on the grasslike artificial surface at the University of Illinois where Chicago is playing this season because of an overhaul of Soldier Field. Favre has directed nine straight road victories over the Bears.
Favre, making his 162nd straight regular-season start, rolled to his left, motioned with his hand and then heaved the ball to a streaking Driver, who was behind Bears safety Mike Green and cornerback R.W. McQuarters, for a 7-0 lead.
His longest TD pass was a 99-yarder to Robert Brooks in 1995. Against the Bears, of course.
"He gets rid of the ball so quick, it's hard to get any kind of good read on him,'' said McQuarters, playing for the first time since spraining his knee in the season opener.
"He'll pick you apart with the 12-to-15-yard throws and that opens up the deep pattern.''
Favre, who was 22-of-33 for 359 yards, also had TD passes of 19 yards to Tyrone Davis and 5 yards to Bubba Franks in the first half.
"That's just Brett. He's a Monday nighter,'' Miller said. "He plays well and plays with a passion. You don't want to be on the other end of it, that's for sure.''
From the Green Bay 20, Chicago was threatening to get back in the game in the third quarter when Joe Johnson hit Miller as he was attempting to pass and the ball popped right to Gbaja-Biamila who ran untouched down the field to give the Packers a 17-point lead.
"I was trying to get rid of it and obviously I didn't get rid of it quick enough,'' Miller said. "I don't point a finger at anybody but me.''
Miller also threw three TD passes, hitting John Davis with a 21-yard TD pass with 6:50 left to make it 34-21.
Chicago made one last thrust when Miller hit David Terrell with a 52-yard pass to the Green Bay 7. But Nate Wayne intercepted Miller in the end zone with just more than 2 minutes left.
Chicago stayed close in the first half when Driver fumbled after making a catch at the Green Bay 39 and Mike Brown picked it up and ran 35 yards to the 4. That set up Miller's 1-yard TD pass to John Davis that cut the lead to 21-14.
The Packers increased their lead when Ryan Longwell kicked a 49-yard field goal on the final play of the half.
Longwell also kicked a 35-yarder, missed two and had another one from 28 yards blocked.
Miller also threw a 4-yard TD pass to Marty Booker late in the first quarter that made it 14-7.
Terry Glenn's 26-yard catch to the Bears 6 set up Favre's TD pass to Franks and restored the lead to two touchdowns.
Needing 262 yards entering the game, Favre became the third fastest player to reach 40,000 yards. He hit the milestone in his 166th career game. Dan Marino (153 games) and Warren Moon (165) got there quicker.
Chicago lost starting left guard Rex Tucker, who dislocated his left ankle and was taken off the field on a cart in the third quarter.
Notes: Terry Glenn caught eight passes for 154 yards and Driver finished with 120 on four receptions - his first career 100-yard game. ... Miller completed 27-of-49 for 353 yards with Marty Booker hauling in 12 passes for 141 yards. ... The crowd was 61,440, meaning there were 1,786 no-shows on a 46-degree night. ... It was the seventh Monday night meeting between Green Bay and Chicago, and the Packers lead 4-3 by winning the last four. ... It was Chicago's first appearance on Monday night since 1997. ... DE Joe Johnson may have torn his tricep, Sherman said.
-- Associated Press